The 'Khorasan Project' has been a long-lived dream of the dreaded Islamic State (IS). The project is intended to expand group's footprints in areas comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of India.
Details emerging in the aftermath of Tuesday's encounter in Lucknow’s Thakurganj reveal that the suspect named Saifullah was a devout member of the Kanpur-Lucknow unit of IS's Khorasan module.
When the UP ATS sleuths stormed the Thakurganj hideout of Saifullah after hours of gunfight, they were shocked to know that the operative was heavily-armed with a clear set of guidelines laid out for an active member of such groups.
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The group had meticulously planned its expansion in India by handpicking self-radicalised youths who had pledge their alliance to its leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
And, six of the suspect nabbed by the UP and MP Police were playing their part actively on social media platforms. They were in regular touch with their handlers hiding at some undisclosed location in Syria.
Role of Shafi Armar
Security agencies discribe Shafi Armar, the self-appointed emif or Junud-al-Khalifa-e- Hind (Soldiers of Indian Caliphate) and Abu Sulemain as the chief recruiters and motivators of the Islamic State.
Amrar was earlier associated with Indian Mujahideen. He joined IS after fleeing the country. He finally settled down in Syria's Raqqa, IS's self-declared Capital.
His brother Sultan too joined the group but was killed in a drone strike.
Read | Lucknow enconuter shows ISIS's plans to expand its footprints in India
The security agencies were closely monitoring his encrypted chats with his Indian followers.
According to reports, the module receives its motivational dose by visiting ISIS links on social media platforms but none of them had stepped out of India or expressed their intention to fight jihad in Syria or Iraq.